21 Aug Kigali Museums and Sights
You might be searching for adventure on your trip to Rwanda, or great food, or even gorillas. It’s up to you, since this small but beautiful land of a thousand hills in East Africa offers something for almost any traveller. This is a country that has a long and varied history when it comes to politics, archaeology, and art. In 2017 there are a ton of places to seek out the sublime in Kigali, the capital. We’ve gathered the best Kigali museums and sights for you, and we hope that you’ll find each of them remarkable. Let’s start with the major sights of the city.
Take a Walking Tour of Nyamirambo
The women’s center of this happening neighbourhood of multicultural and mutli-religious backgrounds offers walking tours. It’s a great way to get out and see how things really are for locals, and if you are just in town for a short time it’s easier than striking out intrepidly on your own. You’ll be able to visit local places of worship and see the happening bars in the area, and the proceeds go to the women’s centre. There are a few Kigali Museums in the area, and you can ask your guide about the different options available.
Climb Mount Kigali
This is the highest point in the city, at 1,850m. You need not hire a guide since you can take a mini-bus to Nyamirambo Stadium and then simply head up the mountain. Follow the signs for It’s a short hike if you’re in reasonable shape, and relatively easy. You can enjoy a view of the surrounding hills, the city centre, and the amazing sky stretching for miles around. Pay attention while hiking! There is a military base on the mountain, and you don’t want to accidentally trespass there.
Now let’s get down to the Kigali Museums! Please note that some of the art museums are galleries or studios.
Kigali Natural History Museum
Of all the Kigali museums, this one is one of the most off-beaten-track. It’s the former residence of a German doctor who was deeply interested in the ecology of Rwanda. The exhibits are simple, but because it’s not usually a tourist stop there is the chance to get a private tour!
Kigali Genocide Memorial
This is a somber but active museum and memorial. In all, more than 250,000 victims of the Rwandan genocide are buried on the grounds. This Kigali museum is just outside the city centre, and it has been visited by many heads of state. The memorial is open 365 days per year, with shortened hours on some days for community-building work. We suggest the $15 audio-tour for the most immersive experience.
Inema Arts Centre
This is a collective of artists, and a community space that makes it one of the best Kigali Museums. They regularly put on performances and exhibitions of local artists’ work. The centre also has ten artists in residence, classes, and charity work with local children. There is also a handicraft shop, where all the products are made by local female artisans.